Melbourne tests positive for virus after flying to Brisbane for work

A Melbourne man was infectious with COVID-19 when he flew to Bundaberg via Brisbane for a fruit picking job this week.

The 24-year-old socialised with about 15 family members and friends during an overnight stay after flying to Brisbane on Virgin VA313 on Monday.

The next day he flew on Virgin flight VA2905 to Bundaberg, where he was starting work as a picker on a strawberry farm, Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.

He is the only coronavirus case reported in Queensland on Saturday.

“This is a time for heightened alertness for all our population in Brisbane and Bundaberg,” Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said.

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Contact tracing for everyone who has been in contact with the man is now underway, including passengers on the same flights.

He entered the state as an exempt seasonal worker and after landing in Bundaberg, the man was collected by his employer, staying in shared accommodation and working a shift alongside others before being diagnosed with coronavirus.

The man has mild symptoms and is in isolation in Bundaberg under clinical supervision.

Four people who shared the accommodation with him have tested negative and a clinic has been set up at the farm where he was working, to test other people there.

His family and friends are now being tested under quarantine. “We have a lot of resources we can now pour into this,” Dr Young added.

She is telling Queenslanders not to wait for a phone call from a contact tracer and to instead get tested if they have symptoms.

“This applies to people who have attended large gatherings today and over the past week. Queenslanders have done extremely well to keep COVID-19 cases to a minimum but now is not the time to get complacent and undo all our good work,” warned Dr Young.

The Melbourne man’s diagnosis brings the state’s total confirmed cases to 1061 and health officials across the state have now carried out 205,628 tests.

Dr Young said strawberries remain safe to eat.

– with wires

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